Budget cuts bummer to Mummers - Philadelphia News

December 11, 2008 8:38:30 PM PST
The economic crisis will apparently take a toll on the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia and word of cutbacks in the city's parade budget is ruffling some feathers.On Thursday, members of the award-winning Joker's Fancy Brigade worked on their parade costumes with no guarantee they'll get a chance to strut their stuff on New Years.

City Hall has cut their funding to the parade by more than 2/3rds. It is the result of the budget crunch.

Last year's parade cost City Hall roughly a million dollars for police, bleachers, and clean-up.

Mayor Michael Nutter says he can only give $300,000 this year.

"I'm hopeful that they will see that this a good offer from the city," Mayor Nutter said.

The city says the usually 16-hour parade up Broad Street and around City Hall will have to be much shorter.

Tough negotiations are going on which sources claim may limit the parade to just 10 blocks through South Philadelphia.

The rumor mill is tough on Mummer morale.

"It's a tradition for a long time and it's being taken from; you don't like to see traditions die out," Charlie Stinsma of the Joker's Club said.

The Quaker City String Band's business manager is trying to be philosophical.

"I think all the Mummers want to go to Center City because that's where all the hotels, that's where all the people are, but I guess, we have to look at the mayor's point of view, with all the city and he's cutting us," Mike Lapergola of Quaker City said.

The lawyer negotiating for the Mummers is blasting city hall, calling the Nutter administration, "inept, incompetent, outrageous," and saying the city should not cut the parade which generates more money than it costs.

The mayor says any costs over $300,000 will have to paid by the Mummers up front.

"The Mummers folks have to understand that they either have to live within the parameters of the dollars we're prepared to spend or guarantee that they will cover all cost above that threshold," Mayor Nutter said.

Nutter say that the parade, simply put, needs to be scaled down.

The length of time and distance of the parade need to be cut.

Negotiations are underway to iron out logistics but the mayor says time is running out.

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